Take, for instance, Rosedale’s thoughts on the perception that Silicon Valley is full of nothing but the swashbuckling cavaliers of the business world: “Even in Silicon Valley, and I think in some sense especially in Silicon Valley and the tech world, real risk-taking is pretty rare,” Rosedale said. “I think that the really crazy entrepreneurs take real risks. They aren’t motivated by money. They are just crazy.”
Rosedale didn’t explicitly identify himself as one of those rare risk-takers, but a consistently unconventional approach to work throughout his career all but earmarks Rosedale as such.
As the founder of Linden Lab, he built an entire virtual world, Second Life, based on the belief that “computers and digital worlds had the possibility to simulate more than we had as yet even created on earth. That somehow, inside those computers, there could be more stuff, there could be more creativity, there could be more of us or more of everything … than we have in the real world or would ever find in space or anything.”
With his most recent project, Coffee & Power, Rosedale has challenged traditional notions about the role that permanence of location and unity of workforce play in building software and companies. “We basically also challenged ourselves to build a software development company,” Rosedale said of the process that went into building the first version of Coffee & Power, “that didn’t have anybody working at it.”
That Rosedale builds businesses to the cadence of a different percussionist was also evident in his observations about the type of personality that will be required to guide the great companies of the future. “The nature of work and the nature of success and the nature of great CEOs is going to change,” he said, “forced by technology.”
For more of Rosedale’s observations on the past, present and future of work and how it connects with his own timeline, check out the video above, the 10th in the Big Omaha 2012 Video Series presented by Microsoft BizSpark.
Read our recap: “Philip Rosedale: ‘Work together and help each other.’ “
About Philip Rosedale
Rosedale is the founder and Chairman of the Board with Second Life/Linden Lab. He started his first software company at age 16 and in 1995, he created the Internet videoconferencing software FreeVue and sold the company to RealNetworks. In 1999, he started to pursue his dream of creating open-ended internet-connected virtual world, founding Linden Lab and creating Second Life. In 2010, he created LoveMachine with Ryan Downe. Currently, he is working on Coffee & Power and Worklist.net.
Find Rosedale on Twitter: @philiplinden
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